Skip to main content

Engineering BOM Management

Key Takeaways

  • BOM management includes establishing requirements, creating structured BOMs, implementing management software for version control, and standardizing naming conventions

  • BOM inventory management involves selecting the right BOM type, employing management software for automation and optimization, determining access controls, conducting regular audits, applying continuous improvement methods, and training personnel

  • OrCAD X Live BOM provides engineers with a powerful tool for managing supply chain risks and making informed decisions.

OrCAD X Live BOM Dashboard

OrCAD X Live BOM Dashboard

Engineering BOM management oversees all product data across its lifecycle, which is crucial for success. It encompasses the coordination of personnel, processes, and technology to handle a company’s BOMs efficiently. It’s essential for linking various departments required for product development from engineering to supply chain.

By providing early visibility to stakeholders and enabling access to information at the onset of product development, these benefits facilitate cross-departmental collaboration, streamline change and configuration management across varied BOM structures, and ensure faster time-to-market. This approach also encompasses comprehensive management of configurations, pervasive visualization for optimization, improved component and supplier management through part reuse, change management with traceability, collaboration with IP protection, and creating BOM-based reports for enhanced product analysis.

Challenges of Engineering Bill of Materials (BOM) Management for PCB Production




Component Specification

Detailed documentation of all the components needed for manufacturing, including type, size, and properties of components.

  • Finding exact specifications

  • Supplier variability

  • Material shortages

  • Counterfeit risk

Version Control

Managing updates and revisions of the PCB design and its BOM to ensure consistency throughout the development processes.

  • Keeping all versions updated

  • Ensuring compatibility between revisions

Supplier Management

Establishing and maintaining relationships with multiple suppliers for components required for PCB assembly.

  • Supplier reliability and quality control

  • Lead times

  • Cost negotiations

Inventory Management

Tracking component stock levels, predicting needs based on production schedules, and ordering components accordingly.

  • Overstocking or understocking components

  • Managing obsolescence

Cost Estimation

Calculating the cost of each component in the PCB to establish a budget and control expenses.

  • Fluctuating prices of components

  • Hidden costs like tariffs and shipping

Compliance and Standards

Ensuring that components comply with international standards such as RoHS, REACH, and others.

  • Keeping up with changing regulations

  • Certification and testing requirements

Lifecycle Management

Managing the BOM through the entire lifecycle of the PCB, including updates, replacements, and eventual discontinuation.

  • Planning for end-of-life components

  • Managing updates without disrupting existing functions

Engineering BOM management requires intelligent software

Engineering BOM management requires intelligent software

What Goes Into Effective BOM Inventory Management?

Managing a complex Bill of Materials (BOM) involves selecting the appropriate BOM type (engineering, manufacturing, or service) tailored to specific phases of the product lifecycle and stakeholders' needs. Using a standard format to ensure consistency, clarity, and ease of communication across departments is crucial. Employing BOM management software is essential for automating and optimizing the process, offering features like version control, real-time collaboration, and integration with other systems.

Additionally, determining access controls, conducting regular audits, applying continuous improvement methods, training personnel, and considering specialized insights like breaking down components to their simplest items or recognizing complexity as a significant challenge, further contribute to a well-managed, effective BOM process.

Key aspects for engineering BOM management include:

  • Materials Planning: Use the BOM as a guide to outline product structure and material requirements.

  • Inventory Tracking: Includes monitoring stock levels within the supply chain, including quantities on hand, in transit, and on order, to avoid shortages or excesses.

  • Demand Forecasting: Tying inventory management to production schedules and product demand to ensure materials are available when needed, minimizing surplus inventory and costs.

  • Real-time Visibility: Implementing technologies for immediate insight into inventory levels, aiding timely decisions on reordering materials and adjusting stock based on demand shifts.

  • Cost Control: Managing inventory-related costs, focusing on reducing expenses tied to storage, handling, and risks of obsolescence or discontinuation.

OrCAD X Live BOM Allows for Efficient Engineering BOM Management 

Live BOM in OrCAD X offers engineers a tool for managing supply chain risks and making informed commercial decisions by providing visibility into market intelligence scores for electronic components, assessing design risk, market availability trends, and substitution options among its key features. 

With Live BOM, engineers access a dataset for each part in their design, including manufacturer details, part numbers, lifecycle status, compliance, risk, pricing, inventory, and key component properties. The interface allows for filtering and ordering the BOM to focus on parts needing attention, displaying comprehensive information like datasheet links, design risk assessments, market availability, price history, and inventory tracking.

Live BOM Alternate Part Suggestions 

One of Live BOM's standout features is its ability to suggest alternate parts that match the form, fit, and function of original components, allowing for substituting high-risk components with lower-risk alternatives. This capability is crucial for updating projects based on designs from previous years, ensuring lower supply chain risk, maintaining production lines, securing product availability, and enabling more stable cash flows. Live BOM transforms the BOM management process, turning potential challenges into opportunities for strategic supply chain and design decisions.

Experience the future of Engineering BOM Management with OrCAD X. Revolutionize your design and supply chain processes. Sign up now for a free trial of OrCAD X and discover how its Live BOM feature can empower you with unmatched visibility, optimization, and control.

Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. To learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.